While these genetic engineering companies are powerful, consumer demand is more powerful.

The transnational companies that produce genetically engineered (GE) food crops include several of the worst polluters of the 20th century.

These "agbiotech" companies evolved from long-time chemical polluters that have reinvented themselves as "life sciences" companies. These companies see huge profits in controlling life patents, in denying consumers their right to know when food is genetically altered and in creating crops that require farmers to use the company's brand of pesticides.

But the agbiotech industry's vision of life sciences has hit hard times. Originally, these companies promoted their agrochemical, pharmaceutical and nutrition divisions, while they jettisoned their failing chemical businesses. However, with worldwide rejection of GE food, many of the top life sciences firms have now dropped their GE crop divisions, forcing them to make their way as independent companies.